The blockade of the General Council of the Judiciary, which if nothing changes will be four years old in December, is no longer reduced to the political clash between the two major parties over the renewal of institutional bodies. The impact of the PP veto to the remodeling of the body of judges, which maintains the conservative majority of the times of the Government of Mariano Rajoy, is already having a direct reflection on the pockets of the Spaniards by not filling many vacant positions in different organs. And the bill keeps going up.
The Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop, has explained that the blockade has already cost the State 12.5 million euros in reinforcements in courts, given that the CGPJ cannot appoint judges for chambers. “This blockade since 2018 is costing the Spanish money. It is affecting their pockets: since I arrived at the Ministry of Justice -a position I have held since July 2021-, this blockade is having a direct impact on the appointment of Supreme Court magistrates: we have spent practically 1.3 million euros on reinforcements for the Supreme Court”, he highlighted. The total amount for the lack of renewal in the justice system amounts to 12.5 million euros in reinforcements, she added.
“In a rule of law, the laws are fulfilled, the Constitution is fulfilled. The PP and Feijóo are making thousands of excuses for not renewing the Judiciary. Now the last thing is that the appointment of the magistrates of the Constitutional Court be withdrawn. Here, I have to tell Feijóo that there is a law in force and it has to be complied with”, the Minister of Justice sentenced, when asked if the Government is willing to renounce those announced for appointments of members of the Constitutional Court to return to talk about the Judiciary, as requested by the leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo. “Compliance with the Constitution cannot be subject to any blackmail, renewal is essential,” concluded the minister, who has demanded that the PP sit down to negotiate the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary, whose members have been three years and eight months remaining in the post despite the fact that his legal mandate has ended.
On the other hand, Pedro Sánchez will appear next Tuesday in the Senate to explain the measures of the energy saving plan in what will be the first major debate between the President of the Government and Alberto Núñez Feijóo. Until now the only precedent is the face to face between the leaders of the PSOE and the PP dating back to the control session last June in the Upper House. The Secretary of State for Relations with the Courts, Rafael Simancas, has registered this morning the request for Sánchez to render accounts taking into account the territorial perspective of the energy efficiency plan and the economic and social context derived from the war in Ukraine. Moncloa thus picks up the glove that Feijóo threw at him, who last Saturday asked the president for a face-to-face meeting in the Upper House – where he is a senator by regional appointment – to talk about Spain’s problems due to rising prices. Inflation has given a small truce in August, falling from 10.8% to 10.4% due to the drop in fuel prices.
The spokeswoman for the Executive, Isabel Rodríguez, has unlinked Sánchez’s appearance from the previous request of the PP. Government sources stress that the debate will take place five days after the deadline for the autonomous communities to submit proposals for the contingency plan that the Government will submit to the EU, and that therefore there is no better institutional setting than that of the Senate, the territorial chamber par excellence, to hold that debate. Along these lines, the spokeswoman has reiterated that Sánchez wants to “report on the energy saving plan because it indeed has a very important impact on all territories”, just one of the arguments that Feijóo used on Saturday. The Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, already advanced on Sunday from Rome that Sánchez would be “delighted to discuss” with Feijóo. “We want us to dedicate ourselves to confronting, to proposing models and projects. Let it be a serious, constructive, purposeful debate, a debate of ideas”, concluded the also Minister of Territorial Policy. The date of the debate has to be set by the Senate, whose Bureau and Board of Spokespersons meet this Wednesday, although the president of the Chamber, the socialist Ander Gil, has already announced that the appearance will be next Tuesday.
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The PP, instead of scoring the point, has reacted by criticizing the Government. “Sánchez has time to rectify and appear to talk about the economic and social uncertainties that affect this country, and not just energy. That he only explains in the Senate a decree already validated in Congress shows his lack of interest in debating general politics with Feijóo. Sánchez talks about what he wants, not about what citizens are concerned about, ”sources from the conservative formation have affirmed. The same sources consider that it will be a “partial” debate and that “it does not respond to the invitation to a serene debate made by the president of the PP.”
“Prescribing only pessimism is not the opposition that Spaniards deserve”, the Executive spokeswoman has reproached the PP. Rodríguez has insisted that the Government maintains prudence and caution in a very volatile context but, despite the crisis, inflation is moderating and Spain is growing above the countries around us. “I am surprised that the leader of the main opposition party has nothing more to say to the Spanish than to ask them and wish them restlessness,” she added.
Well, we already have news. Next Tuesday the President of the Government appears at his own request in @Senadoesp @sanchezcastejon will report on the energy saving and management plan that the Government has designed, so that the costs of this crisis are not paid by the usual ones. pic.twitter.com/ulHyESV52Y
– Ander Gil (@Ander_Gil) August 30, 2022
The Council of Ministers has also approved the abortion bill, which aims to protect both this right and other sexual and reproductive rights of women in public health, such as temporary disabilities due to painful rules.
The aforementioned draft law on abortion, approved on May 17, enshrines the right of 16 and 17-year-old women to decide to interrupt pregnancy without parental authorization being mandatory, and eliminates the three days of reflection that introduced the reform of the PP in 2015, in its modification of the norm in force since 2010. The Executive has decided to send the norm to Congress without the reports of the General Council of the Judiciary and the Fiscal Council, which have not been issued on time. “The Judiciary has not done its job, since it has not issued its report [preceptivo sobre la ley] on time, but we cannot paralyze the law, the Minister for Equality, Irene Montero, said this morning on RNE.
The meeting was chaired by Vice President Nadia Calviño, since Pedro Sánchez is a special guest this morning of the German Prime Minister, Olaf Scholz, at the Meseberg Palace, 70 kilometers from Berlin, where the Spaniard has been invited to reinforce his political alliance and draw a common line on the most important issue of the moment, the energy crisis and the possible alternatives to Russian gas, including the interconnection between Spain and Europe through the Pyrenees (the so-called MidCat gas pipeline), which has the enthusiasm from Madrid and backing from Berlin.